Winners announced

8 November 2013

View winners

The Smith Hotel awards:Showcasing the world's
most stylish stays

The Greatest Outdoors

The Greatest Outdoors

They say it's what's inside that counts: but the winner of the Greatest Outdoors award will have external appeal in spades.

Be it a country-house hotel with gobsmacking gardens, an Alpine lodge with lakeside views, jaw-dropping pool bars or a beachfront resort with over-water decking, it should have you grabbing your partner and yelling 'Outside, now!'


Winner Dunton Hot Springs

San Juan Mountains, United States

 Winner Smith Hotel Awards 2013 Dunton Hot Springs

It’s hard to beat the Rockies as a backdrop, and this luxuriously restored Colorado mining town wisely lets the scenery do the talking. This unique mountain hideaway takes you straight back into the big-sky wilderness of the Old West, complete with log cabins, snow-capped peaks, not-so-lonesome pines and a perch on the porch to admire it all from. And, of course, there are the hot springs, which ensure that Dunton is a year-round alfresco spa haven.


Runner up Huka Lodge

Lake Taupo, New Zealand

 Runner up Smith Hotel Awards 2013 Huka Lodge

'The mixture of traditional accommodation with the variety of landscapes really appeals. And here, the al fresco dining is really makes the very best of the outdoors' 
Alastair Humphreys, adventurer


Runner up Sal Salis

Ningaloo Reef, Australia

 Runner up Smith Hotel Awards 2013 Sal Salis

'A breathtaking natural environment, where the temporary nature of the tent accommodation is completely in tune with the fragile dune environment. Waking up in the morning and walking down to the sea without meeting another soul is my idea of real luxury'
Dan Pearson, garden designer

Top ten

The Greatest Outdoors Award Criteria

Location, location

This hotel is likely to be naturally blessed with a breathtaking location and postcard-perfect views, but don't discount the unexpected: a vertical garden or rooftop space might get your vote.

All-weather appeal

Spectacular swimming pools, well-placed pagodas sheltered by tree canopies, historic follies and farmland – this is a never-be-bored adventure playground.

Appropriate activities

How does the hotel entice you outside? With a hamper of lawn games waiting to be played? Perfectly packed picnics, blankets to borrow? A fleet of bikes or a stable of horses to ride out across the estate? Masks and fins for impromptu snorkelling trips?

Magnetic good looks

Ah, bliss: when you first lay eyes on this hotel's outdoor spaces, all you want to do is find a seat to sink into, a bench to admire it from or a hammock to swing in. Could you potentially not leave the grounds all holiday and not be disappointed? 

Well-kept, well-loved

The Greatest Outdoors is often the result of a labour of love, and staff will know how to help you get the best out of it: they've prepared walking maps and jogging trails, swept leaves off paths and raked the sand, pruned plants to perfection and picked the tomatoes for its tasting menu.

Top ten

Our judges

View all our Judges
  • Alastair Humphreys

    Alastair Humphreys

  • Adam Brown

    Adam Brown

  • Dan Pearson

    Dan Pearson